Today, 9 July 2008, the Israeli High Court of Justice (the Court) issued its decision on the case of al-Nu?man village against Israel and rejected outright any discussion related to the request presented in the petition to dismantle the Annexation Wall in the area, which has severed the village from the rest of the West Bank.
Also, on this day, the anniversary of the ICJ Advisory Opinion against the Wall,
Israeli courts have yet to uphold international law concerning the relentless construction of the Wall and illegal settlements in the West Bank.
Israeli High Court Endorses Indirect Forcible Transfer in al-Nu`man Village
Today, 9 July 2008, the Israeli High Court of Justice (the Court) issued its decision on the case brought by Al-Haq, Defence for Children International ? Palestine Section and the residents of al-Nu?man village against the Prime Minister of Israel, the Minister of Defense, the Commander of the Israeli military in the West Bank, the Minister of the Interior and the Municipality of Jerusalem. The following is a brief summary of an unofficial translation of the court proceedings.
The Court had previously indicated that it would today reach a decision on the merits of the case, but instead has uncritically accepted the facts on the ground created by the Israeli authorities in al-Nu?man village. The Court rejected outright any discussion related to the request presented in the petition to dismantle the Annexation Wall in the area, which has severed the village from the rest of the West Bank.
On the legal status of the residents of the village, the Court avoided taking any real decision, instead referring the petitioners to the general procedure requiring Palestinians to individually applying for permits to enter certain areas of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. In so doing, the Court overlooked the unique nature of the status of al-Nu`man`s residents. The majority of the residents, as West Bank ID holders, are currently considered illegally present in their homes due to the bureaucratic oversight of the State of Israel in failing to include the people of al-Nu?man in its census after redrawing the borders of illegally annexed Jerusalem in 1967. The only option for the residents of al-Nu`man to make their presence in their homes legal is to submit a request to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior for a temporary permit to access their own village, thereby undergoing the Ministry?s arbitrary scrutiny, hoping that no security issues are raised to deny such a permit.